Go inside the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.
This month, a series of sunglasses designed by Xu Zhen (MadeIn) debuted in collaboration with eyewear brand ill.i. A pattern from the artist’s “Turbulent” series was the inspiration source, embedded in custom XZ acetate frames—for women and men in a limited-edition of 100 pairs. Whitewall had a few questions for the artist about his first foray into frame design.
WHITEWALL: How did this collaboration with ill.i. begin?
XU ZHEN: ill.i in fact got in touch with us and proposed this collaboration
WW: Have you collaborated with other fashion brands before and would you like to in the future?
XZ: This is the first time that an element of our works is actually directly included in the “product”. We would like to do more collaborations of this kind in the future.
WW: Why did you choose your “Turbulent” (2013) paintings to feature in this collaboration?
XZ: When ill.i got in touch with us they mention their interest for the series of works Turbulent. We also believe that the “action” gesture and “street” nature of the work, as well as its various symmetrical patterns are all aspects that are very appropriate to their brand.
WW: Did you enjoy the process of translating your art into sunglasses, dresses, etc.?
XZ: We did. It was a very interesting experience.
WW: We were told that you made a sculpture of sunglasses with gritty, hand carved stone. What were you trying to say in this artwork?
XZ: One shouldn’t purposely harden one’s sight.
ill.i is a creative partnership between entrepreneur will.i.am and designer Graz Mulcahy. Launched in 2014.